The song “Love Roller Coaster” has been in my head. The Red Hot Chili Peppers version, not the Ohio Players. (Yes, I had the “Beavis and Butthead Do America” soundtrack and yes, it was awesome.) I feel like I’ve been stuck on this ride, but I can’t get off because no matter how many ups and downs there are, I still love it. Writing is a roller coaster. Every bit of it. At least, it is for me. From start to finish I have so many ups and downs I feel like a pogo stick. From the story idea, to putting it on paper, to changing the idea, to changing the order of chapters, to writer’s block, to character development (you go through a whole separate coaster ride along with your character), to revisions, to querying. Everything goes up and down, up and down, up and down–highs and lows.
I experienced this roller coaster in one day recently when an agent (a dream agent) rejected my full manuscript because it was too similar to something the agent already had. Low: rejection. High: the agent liked my concept. Low: but the agent didn’t want it. High: there’s something similar, which means my story is (maybe) marketable. Low: there’s something similar, which means my story isn’t as fresh as I thought/hoped. High: I don’t know how similar. Low: it doesn’t matter, the agent rejected me.
I spent one good day and night wallowing in my rejection, then pulled myself up by my boot-straps and kept plugging on. I’m going through one more round of revisions before submitting my manuscript to a contest (fingers crossed!). Three days after I decided on the contest, I experienced another high when another agent (a dream agent) requested my partial. Then quickly a low when I realized the agent asked for a synopsis too (eek!). Fortunately, I think I got my synopsis in decent shape (see my post on the horrors of the synopsis here).
Right now I feel like I’m more in the middle of the roller coaster, or the big incline at the beginning. I’m slowly click-clacking my way to the top, unsure whether there will be a big drop on the other side, or whether the track will run flat for a while first, or maybe there will even be another hill to climb. Regardless, I’m in for the whole ride. That’s the thrill, right? Not knowing what’s coming next. It’s a good thing I love roller coasters. As soon as I get off this one, wherever it may stop, high or low, I’m ready to step on the next and start all over. Because that’s what I have to do. It’s what we all have to do if we truly want to be writers. This business is full of ups and downs (mostly downs), but its the ups, those few glorious moments, that make it worthwhile.